Note: The vid is 17 minutes long, but trust me, it’ll save you so much time and energy, it’s absolutely worth it. And… it’s pretty good!
Download and Print PDF here: Daily habit questions cheat sheet By Seth Perler
It’s the end of the semester again…
It’s the end of the semester again, and the predictable pattern for many outside-the-box students rears it’s ugly head again. It goes like this…
- Suddenly, someone, usually a parent, notices that grades have plummeted (even though everything seemed fine).
- Someone, usually a parent, notices that something’s got to be done… and fast because the end of the semester is right around the corner.
- Someone, usually a parent, tries in vain to talk some sense into the student, to make them understand the gravity of the situation, to light a fire under their butt.
- The process of digging oneself out of this hole begins again with mixed results. Spring fever, overwhelm, avoidance, denial, and other common factors interfere with this process. Some kids pull it together, some give up, some try inconsistently. But we want the best outcome possible!
There has to be a better way, right? Well, there is, but there are a lot of layers to it and this post will scratch the surface with some concrete ideas you can use.
Download and Print the special PDF version here: Daily habit questions cheat sheet By Seth Perler
Here’s the Daily Habit Questions Cheat Sheet
Want to turn it around in school and bring up your grades? Then use these questions on a daily basis until they become a part of your thinking. If you ask these, you can rest assured that you have covered all the bases. These are the types of key questions that every successful student must get in the habit of asking:
- Plan: Did I make a good and realistic plan for today?
- NOP: What’s my NOP (number one priority) for tonight? Do this first.
- Planner: Update it mindfully.
- Do I have any math? Science? Social studies? LA? Other?
- Should I be doing any reading? Writing? Projects? Studying for tests/quizzes?
- Grades: Check my grades thoughtfully.
- Make a list of things that need to be acted upon (missing assignments, etc.)
- Be forthcoming & honest with parents about them.
- Advocacy: Do I need to email any teachers or go to office hours?
- Backpack: Reorganize, go through all of it, stray papers managed.
- Focus: How’s my focus tonight? What distractions need to be removed?
- Temp check: What’s my biggest stress lately? What would help?
💚 Give: Love my work and want to donate?
🎦 YouTube: Visit my official YouTube channel here. Please subscribe, like & comment to support my work.
👉 Share: To support me, please *CLICK* at the bottom to share on FB or Pinterest.
✏️ EF101: Here’s my jumpstart course for parents and teachers.
🙏 Thanks! — Seth
Hey everybody this is Seth with SethPerler.com, and this is a video for parents and students, both. If you’re a middle school, high school, or college student, or you’re a parent trying to help your child whether they’re in elementary or anything through college, this video is to help upgrade your grades at the end of the semester. So the end of the semester is coming up, in this case, for this particular semester, in April. And a lot of students tend to really fall apart and then all of a sudden May comes, and then school is out, and then they got a bunch of D’s and F’s, they’re retaking classes in summer school, or they have to retake classes in the fall. Basically, you don’t want to be getting D’s or F’s right now. That’s not good. Let me talk about a few things. First of all, I’m going to talk to you about how to specifically upgrade your grades. I have a gift for you, a downloadable paper that you can download and use however you want. I’ll go over that in a minute because this is key.
But I want to start off by saying, first of all, even though I’m going to tell you how you can upgrade your grades, I don’t even believe letter grades are valid. I do not believe in letter grades. I think they are morally wrong, I think there are archaic, I think they’re outdated, but they’re a necessary evil. Technically, they’re not a ‘necessary evil,’ they’re just evil. But honestly speaking, I don’t believe in grades, but they do exist. And you do have to do well in school, and you want to be able to do well in school, and learn how to get A’s, B’s and C’s and pass your classes. Ultimately want to be learning as much as you can and that’s what it’s really about. I just wanted to practice that by saying that I don’t even believe in grades. If you follow my stuff, you already know that. However, they exist. So we’re going to deal with reality today — a world that exists with grades. Okay, you follow me? So, students, you don’t have to get thinking all about, “Oh, this is wrong.” I don’t care, they exist and we’re going to deal with that. Okay ready? Here we go.
Your M.O.: If you’re the student it’s your pattern. Okay, your MO is your ‘modus operandus’ and is to do something like this. Let’s say that this is January and the semester starts. Things are going okay, your grades are okay, things kind of start to fall a little bit, but nobody notices. You don’t notice, your parents don’t notice, your teachers don’t notice. A lot of the times kids will start really strong in the first two to three weeks of a semester. Then it becomes February, you know, things can be dipping up, down, up and down a little bit. Now it’s March and things my kind of plateau. It’s April, things are going along and then BOOM! One day you look at your grades and all of a sudden you have two A+’s and for F’s, or some crazy wacky combination of grades. Usually, my students’ grades are all over the place. But the point is you have some very scary grades and something needs to be done. Often what’s going to happen with this pattern, your M.O. is: “Okay, everything’s fine.” You’re kind of in denial. You’re avoiding doing homework or turning things in, or whatever your issues are with having trouble, with getting homework done, or studying for tests, or whatever is going on. But all of a sudden one day, everything comes tumbling down and is like, “Oh my gosh what’s going on?” And your parents, obviously, are going to bug you and they’re going to be like, “What in the world is going on? We need to have a talk. We’re going to lecture you, we’re going to figure this out blah blah blah,” and you, your M.O. as the student has to be like, “All right. Don’t worry Mom. I got this taken care of. It’s all good. I’ll talk to the teacher tomorrow. I’ll fix it tomorrow. I’ll turn this in in a couple days.” It’s this cycle that often does not end as you intend it to. It often does not end with grades you think you’ll get. Often times my students are very unrealistic, they think “Oh, yeah pull it together,” and it doesn’t happen. That’s the reality. And again, I’m talking real world and I’m telling you the truth because these are the type of students I help and I help them to not get into this pattern in the first place. And if they do get into a pattern, I help them to get out of it. This is something that a lot of people don’t see. So I’m going to give you some tips on how to do this. You got to be honest about your pattern. Don’t worry about it. Don’t beat yourself up. Just be like, “All right, that’s my pattern. I’m in denial, I’m trying, but I let things lie they fall apart and we gotta recalibrate from there.“
Now, what I’m going to talk about with this magical piece of paper is going to help you build habits. It’s not going to make it perfect, but I am intending for you to build habits because if you can build a habit of what’s on here, you’re golden. And know you’re not going to build a perfect habit right away.
So I want to talk about perfectionism and being perfect. Do not worry if you do this perfectly. Just do it to the best of your ability and let it go. I don’t care if you do if you a few of these questions, if you have days where you forget about it, or whatever. Just do your best don’t worry about perfection. We’re trying to build a habit. If you forget or mess up or whatever, just get right back to it and ultimately you want to build a better habit. Not a perfect habit, but a better habit because the habit you’re in right now is not producing good results for you. And you want to habit that is for one reason. You want these habits for one reason: so that you can create an awesome future so that you can have a life where you’re able to pursue whatever your dreams are. Okay. I’m not saying that to be fluffy, I’m not saying that to be cheesy, I’m saying realistically you need to build habits so that you can work towards your dreams and have a fantastic future, not a mediocre life. Not an average life. I want you to have a remarkable future, a great future. And you can have it but you need good habits. Here we go.
What I want you to do every day from now until the end of school is to use this piece of paper. I made you three different types. A big one that explains it in-depth, a medium one that is a little easier to read, and a micro version that you can cut out. There are four of these and four of these. You can tape them on your desk, you can tape them in your planner, you can tape them on your door, on the refrigerator, you can put them wherever you want. But these are going to have the magical key questions.
Alright, let me tell you about the magical key questions. I put this together for you because these are the questions that I use with my students day in and day out. If you follow what I’m telling you on here, you can rest assured that you’re covering all the bases. If you’re a parent and you’re asking your kids, once you’re done with this, you can and need to stop the conversation with your child for the evening. Kids can get very stressed out, overwhelmed, they can feel a lot of pressure when you start hounding them or being overbearing with them with these questions or with however you question your children. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty anything. I’m just being honest, my students are stressed often times by their parents because their parents are trying to ask the right questions but it often feels like a lecture that’s never going to end. That feels very stressful for kids. So when you’re done with this as a parent, you can rest assure that you asked all the right questions. Let it go for the night. You’re looking for baby steps of progress that count. If you’re the student, you want to go through this every night either with your parents, or an accountability partner, or by yourself, but you these are the questions you want to ask. If you go through this, again, you will cover all your bases. Here we go.
I wrote ‘Consider this:’ and these are the things I want you to consider every single day for the rest of school. And this is going to progressively make your pattern go up so that your grades can start to get better and you can end the year on the strongest possible note. Here’s what I wrote: ‘If you want to turn around in school then use these questions on a daily basis until they become a part of your thinking. So if you do this for the next 2 months and become more and more part of your thinking, so you don’t have to figure things out as much and it’s going to become more automatic. These are the type of key questions that every successful student must get in the habit of asking.’ Anybody who’s a successful student, if you look at your friends that are naturally strong students, they ask these type of questions very naturally. You don’t and that’s okay. That’s why I’m doing this. All right, here we go.
Number 1: The first thing you’re going to do is plan when you get home from school. The best thing you can possibly do is sit down for 5 minutes and plan your night. I don’t care if you start your homework right after school, but if you actually take a minute to plan your night, you’re going to be much more successful. Most students and don’t plan; most struggling students don’t plan. They get home, they just pull out some homework and do some stuff, if they even do anything. It’s very overwhelming, they know they have a lot of things to do. You need to make a plan. I don’t care if you like planning or not, you need to get in the habit of making one. I personally have my students make it on just a small piece of paper, just the three to five things they have to do that night.
Number 2: What’s your NOP? The NOP is the Number One Priority. N-O-P. What is your number one priority tonight? If you did nothing else tonight, nothing else, what one piece of homework would you do, what one project would you work on, what one test would you study for? What one thing is your most important priority. The NOP. The number one priority of the night. Ideally, you’re going to do your NOP first. Do it before all other homework and get it out of the way. Sometimes that’s not practical, but ideally, you’re going to do your number one priority first every night.
Number 3: Planner. Now I said plan before, but that was just planning for tonight. Here for the planner, you need to update your planner. This is a piece of paper to write your nightly plan, but your planner is where you’re going to have all of your assignments and everything. So I wrote, ‘You should update your plan or mindfully. You need to ask yourself if you have any math, science, social studies, language arts, or other’ and I have it all listed for you. Should you be doing any reading, writing, projects, or studying for tests or quizzes. And they explain that. My students are professional procrastinators, and so am. I’ve been a struggle my whole life. How do you work with this? Well, they might have a reading assignment where they have three weeks to read, and yet it’s never in the planner. You need to ask yourself if you should you be reading anything, if you have any novels or textbooks or articles or things that you’re supposed to be reading and not wait till last minute. Do you have any writing projects, like big projects? Do you have any projects that you should be working on periodically and not waiting till the last minute? And should you be studying for any tests or quizzes? Not tests that are tomorrow, but tests that are next week. You should actually be studying way beforehand. So I have that question, you get that stuff in your planner. Math, science, social studies, language arts, reading, writing projects, tests, or quizzes. That’s what you get in your planner.
Number 4: You want to check your grades. This is number four. Look at your grades thoughtfully. I don’t care if you have a B in the class, what I care about is the details of the grades. Do you have any missings, any incompletes? Do you have any zeros? Things that need to be addressed? That’s what I’m talking about. Looking at the grade book, not your actual overall grade, but what things need to be done. Here is what I said: ‘Make a list of things that need to be acted upon, you’re actionizing, the things that need to be done, the missing assignments.’ I also said with grades, ‘Be honest and forthcoming with your parents.’ Please do not lie to them about your grades. Now, if they’re hounding you too much about your grades, you have the right to set a boundary and say, “Mom, Dad, stop it. I don’t want to talk about grades every single day,” but they have a right to interfere in your life. If you’re getting D’s and F’s, they have a right to be asking about it. But you can set a boundary and say, “Look, let’s talk about grades two days a week, or one day a week,” but as it gets close to the end of the year, they have more of a right to ask about your grades. Okay, but if there is no problem, they don’t need to keep asking you. But if there’s a problem they have that right. Again, you can set your boundaries. Be honest and forthcoming with them, don’t lie. Don’t lie about it.
Number 5: Advocacy. Do I need to email my teachers or go to office hours? Advocate. Here’s what happens. I say to my students, “All right, why don’t we email your teacher right now and ask them about this 0,” and they say, “Oh no, I’ll talk to him tomorrow.” And then the next day comes and they forgot to talk to them. Okay, look. Just stop resisting. If you trust me for the next month of school and you have any zeros are missings, or things like that, email your teachers or go to their office hours. Be proactive. Don’t be cutting corners on this. It’s getting to the end of the school year, advocate for yourself, this is for you.
Number 6: Next, the backpack. Reorganize your backpack every night. It’s only going to take you a minute of doing it every day, but for the rest of school, I just want you to go through everything. Particularly if you have rotting food in there, that’s the bad get rid of it. But I’m not even as concerned about the rotting food as I am in your backpack than with stray papers. Because that’s what kills students. My students that misplaced papers, are crammed in the bottom of the backpack or they’re somewhere lost in the abyss to the backpack, get those papers out and deal with them every day. At the very minimum when you do your backpack do that
Number 7: I want you to ask yourself about focus. How is your focus tonight? If you have homework to do you need to, you need to focus. However, focus has two parts. (1) is trying to focus, (2) the other is the removal of distractions. Turn off the phone, get it out of the room, don’t be using Snapchat and Facebook, and this and that. Close tabs, Minecraft, whatever your thing is, eliminate distractions. Take the dog out of the bedroom, lock the door so your little brother or sister can’t bug you. Whatever the distractions are, you need to focus and be removed distractions so that you can focus. Don’t fool yourself about things like that, you know, like really value yourself enough to be like, “I’m worth it. I don’t need the distractions when I’m trying to get my stuff done.“
Number 8: Next is the last one. This is a temperature check. Ask yourself everyday, “What’s my biggest stress lately? And what is the solution to that stress?” Okay, you need to really think about this stuff so that you can respond rather than react to life. You don’t want to be in a reactionary life where you’re having your buttons pushed and you just react everything. You need to learn to respond and slow down and respond very mindfully to the stress in your life.
All right. So that’s this. I made a couple of copies, whether your parent or student you can use these. In these two copies, I made the questions very short. This is the simplest of the three, the smaller one, and they’re just really quick bullets. So you can sit down at your desk, look at these questions every night, go through it real quick. It’ll take you five, 10, or 15 minutes to go through the entire thing and it will upgrade your grades tremendously. If you do this, and not perfectly, if you forget a day or two, or you one day you only feel like going through part of the list, or even if you lie about your grades and you feel guilty about that, you can always go back and apologize. If that’s a stress, what’s the solution? Maybe apologize for not being honest about it. The point is, don’t do this perfectly. But if you implement these for the next couple months of school as things are predictably going to fall apart for a lot of you, it will not and it will be a much better, smoother, more fun, less stressful end-of-the-year so that (1) you can have a better opportunity at an incredible future (2) you can have a stress-free free summer with no summer school. No repeating classes in the fall. No thoughts whatsoever of anything academic. You can really be free to really have space to really enjoy your summer and have an awesome, awesome summer that you really deserve. All right with that. I hope you have an amazing day and I’ll see you soon. Take care.
Please CLICK below to share.